“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, May 17, 2010

Eurosion Continues

Are we in the middle of a competitive devaluation?

More price erosion will hit hard at housing:

More homeowners choose to default on loans
Choosing not to pay has consequences beyond damaged credit scores

By Amy Hoak, MarketWatch
CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- "Strategic defaults" are on the rise as more borrowers who are underwater on their home loans decide it's not worth it to stay current on their payments each month. That trend could have repercussions for the housing market, and for borrowers, in the future.

Strategic defaults are when borrowers who owe more on their homes than they're currently worth choose to stop paying their mortgage but continue to meet other financial obligations, according to a definition by Morgan Stanley in a research report on the topic.

In other words, these homeowners neglect their monthly principal and interest payments, but still pay other bills on time, including credit cards and auto loans.

The Morgan Stanley report estimates that 12% of mortgage defaults in February were strategic. Other reports estimate an even higher proportion of this type of loan default.

Growing social acceptance of this behavior could have ramifications not only for personal credit histories and the health of neighborhoods, but also for the future of mortgage lending, according to those studying the issue.

For one, there's a contagion effect: As more people watch their friends or neighbors choose to default, the more it becomes a viable option for homeowners who may otherwise wait years just to return to a positive equity position in their properties, said Sam Khater, senior economist for CoreLogic, a provider of consumer, financial and property information. The volume of foreclosures on the market today is also chipping away at the stigma that used to come with defaulting on a home loan.

"If you know someone who has defaulted strategically, you're more likely to declare you're willing to do it," said Luigi Zingales, professor of entrepreneurship and finance at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business.

In areas where home prices are severely depressed, social acceptance of this decision could lead to pockets "where strategic default becomes the norm, versus the exception," Zingales said.

But look even farther in the future, and the repercussions of substantial strategic defaults could have a larger-scale effect.

"If it really does become a legitimate problem, the implications are pretty dramatic for anyone that wants to buy a home in the future," said Rick Sharga, senior vice president of RealtyTrac, an online marketplace of foreclosure properties. "The lenders would have to build this into their risk models with either larger down payments or higher interest rates."

Some owners 'mimic investors'

Many agree the ranks of people taking this route are growing, but putting a number on the trend isn't as easy. To measure the number of people who are strategically defaulting on their mortgage obligations, you have to assess borrower intent.

"Take all the numbers with a grain of salt, because it's one of those topics which is really difficult to get a firm grasp on," Sharga said. "The projections are based on limited sample sizes, and [people are] doing projections that have a lot of implications on societal behavior and political policy."

Researchers believe that being underwater on a loan is a prerequisite to strategic default, and the more underwater you are, the likelier you are to consider defaulting -- even if you can afford to keep making payments.

"In our data, what we've noticed is at about 25% negative equity, the behavior of owners begins to mimic that of investors -- they're more ruthless and rational, they're looking at it from a cash-flow perspective," Khater said. "The default rate rises as the negative equity gets deeper and deeper."

Here are some estimates of how big a problem strategic default is:

Morgan Stanley's recent report examined the payment habits of 6.5 million borrowers with first-lien mortgages that originated in 2004 or later, and estimated that 12% of all mortgage defaults were strategic in February -- that is, the borrower who is underwater on his or her mortgage obligations and stops paying on that home loan, yet still meets other, "meaningful" non-mortgage obligations. The authors used data from TransUnion in their analysis. The report found that the incidence of strategic default is higher among those with higher credit scores and larger loan balances.

Analysis from Experian and Oliver Wyman estimated that strategic defaulters made up about 18% of all borrowers who went 60 days past due on their mortgage in the fourth quarter of 2008; about 588,000 borrowers strategically defaulted in 2008, up 128% from 2007. Strategic default was also found to be most prevalent in areas that experienced steep price declines, including California and Florida, and among mortgages that originated in or after 2006, because those borrowers didn't experience home price appreciation before prices headed south.

Research from the Chicago Booth/Kellogg School Financial Trust Index found a rising percentage of homeowners are willing to strategically default: The percentage of foreclosures perceived to be strategic was 31% in March, compared with 22% in March 2009. The data is collected through a survey of about 1,000 people.

One possible reason the numbers are rising is some homeowners' belief that lenders aren't aggressively pursuing those who default, according to the Chicago Booth/Kellogg School report.

"With more and more homeowners believing that lenders are failing to pursue those who default on their mortgages, there is a risk that a growing number of homeowners will walk away from their homes even if they can afford monthly payments," said Paola Sapienza, professor of finance at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and co-author of the report, in a news release. Zingales was a co-author.

People are also learning they often have one or two years before they get thrown out of a home after stopping payments, said Frank Pallotta of RH Reward, or Responsible Homeowner Reward, a program that works with lenders to provide financial incentives for borrowers who are at a high risk of strategically defaulting.

Getting above water

A recovery in home prices could give people hope to stick it out and stay in their homes, even if they're underwater, Zingales said. "If prices were to drop again, people might lose hope," he said.

CoreLogic estimates that the typical underwater borrower is five to seven years away from regaining their lost equity.

Eventually, those who do stick it out will see their equity increase due to simple amortization: Over time, less of your payment is going to interest and more is going to the paying down of principal, Khater said. "If they remain current on their home, simply paying their loan will help drive them back to positive equity," he said.

But for some homeowners, that won't be enough.

"Strategic default will begin to pick up in numbers as the housing market begins to stabilize," Pallotta said. "Now you can almost quantify how long it is to see the light at the end of the tunnel."

If people figure they'll wait more than a decade before regaining the equity they've lost, they're much more likely to cut bait and leave, he said.


  1. "The EU has a flag no one salutes, an anthem no one sings, a president no one can name, a parliament (in Strasbourg) no one other than its members wants to have power (which must subtract from the powers of national legislatures), a capital (Brussels) of coagulated bureaucracy no one admires or controls, a currency that presupposes what neither does nor should nor soon will exist (a European central government), and rules of fiscal behavior that no member has been penalized for ignoring. The euro currency both presupposes and promotes a fiction -- that "Europe" has somehow become, against the wishes of most Europeans, a political rather than a merely geographic expression.

    "The designs of the paper euros, introduced in 2002, proclaim a utopian aspiration. Gone are the colorful bills of particular nations, featuring pictures of national heroes of statecraft, culture and the arts, pictures celebrating unique national narratives. With the euro, 16 nations have said goodbye to all that. The bills depict nonexistent windows, gateways and bridges. They are from ... nowhere, which is what "utopia" means...

    What Next For The Euro?


  2. European Union

    This a re-post of the article above.

    I posted the article mainly because of George Will's description of the EU that was included with the first post.


  3. The first week of May's panicked trading on world financial markets was eerily reminiscent of the post-Lehman chaos of September 2008. Equity markets plummeted, debt markets froze and inter-bank lending rates skyrocketed.


    For more than a decade, Western consumers borrowed too much money, ably assisted by financial institutions creating financial products they themselves didn't understand. When the consumers couldn't pay and the banks were about to collapse, governments bailed them out.


    McKinsey and Co, a consulting company, recently produced an insightful analysis of 45 prior episodes of deleveraging, 32 of which followed financial crises. The authors conclude that there are four ways to deleverage an economy, and only two of those options are available to the West today.

    Debt Addiction

  4. The First Jack Ass is in a hurry, ( of course, Obama is always in a hurry) to get financial reform complete.

    Think about this: Consider the depth of knowledge that say, Patrick Kennedy or Maxine Waters have on complex financial matters.

    We will have new rules and regulations for the complex and arcane, fabricated by the ignorant, unread, misunderstood, voted and passed, all to control the greedy with the likely outcome that it will further wreck your fortune and future.

  5. I would say, Deuce, that the reform and regulations will be fabricated by the fellas from Goldman Sucks and the like.

    Then it will be unread and voted upon.

    No worries, that's how the GOP did it, too.

    Phil Gramm's baby momma, Wendy, was workin' for Enron, while he wrote the Regulations to supervise their operations. We all know how well that piece of GOP economic engineering turned out.

    What's good for the goose, good for the gander.

    No worries, the Federals are still on course and speed, Obama's proposed reforms, not even a speed bump, for our Leviathan.

  6. That's just how the Federal Reserve was created, legislation, written by those to be regulated, passed unread, in the dead of night.

    Gotta love it, it's our democracy at work.

  7. One hundred years after the Federal Reserve got control of our money supply, the Congress is considering giving itself authority, to audit the Federal Reserve.

    Which the bankers tell US will lessen the Feds "independence".

    We can only hope that they are correct, with that rhetorical argument.

  8. It does sound like the perfect time to open up a third war in the Middle East. Iran anyone?

  9. Better call that Maytag repairman, looks like Mother Ocean is overwhelmed by the sludge.

    Better get Lester Crown and his whole Maytag team on the case.

    The Associated Press

    NEW ORLEANS - The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has already spewed plumes over ecologically sensitive reefs, part of a stalled marine sanctuary proposal that would have restricted drilling in a large swath of the northern part of the vital waterway.

  10. That ought to just about wipe out the rest of our economic future for the next ten years.

  11. We don't need no stinkin' shrimp!

    Drill baby drill!

  12. Farming and distilling, not drilling and refining, is the real answer to our liquid energy challenge.

    Liquid energy, from the sun!

  13. If we had started, four years ago, when rufus convinced me, we would not even need a deep sea oil rig, in the Gulf of MEXICO.

    Funny how we gained dominion, over that. While we did not name it, the Gulf of TEXAS.

    The Gulf of California, though, that IS totally in Mexico.

    Not even close to the United States. Though the waves do break on the eastern shores, of California.

  14. Arab-American from Michigan crowned 2010 Miss USA

    The Associated Press - Oskar Garcia

    LAS VEGAS - Lebanese immigrant Rima Fakih says it was a certain look from Donald Trump that tipped her off that she had won the 2010 Miss USA title.

    The Creator blessed the USA.

  15. Our exceptionalism is personified by a Lebanese immigrant!

    How grand!

    The American melting pot simmers, still.

  16. Our people make the difference.

    Those that self-select to be amongst US, become the best and brightest, of US.

    Exemplified by Rima Fakih, Miss USA 2010.

  17. Mexico Shaken by Abduction and Feared Murder of Top Politician

    Read more:

    The white SUV was found on an unpaved country road with bloodstains on the seats. Within hours, hundreds of soldiers and police poured across ranches and fields looking for possible clues to the whereabouts of former Mexican presidential candidate Diego Fernández de Cevallos, who disappeared last Friday. As the search got under way, frantic politicians and media reported that the victim's body had been found, then said that he was in hospital with a bullet wound and then that he was still missing.

    Even in a nation numbed by escalating drug-related mayhem, the abduction and feared murder of the leading conservative politician sent shock waves through the political establishment.

    Fernández, a 69-year-old lawyer with penetrating eyes and a trademark white beard, has been one of the most colorful, controversial and influential figures in Mexican politics. A member of President Felipe Calderón's National Action Party, or PAN, Fernández was the undisputed winner of Mexico's first-ever election debate in 1994, though he later lost the election.

  18. Tension has also been simmering inside the PAN in the run-up to 12 governorship races this year, with Fernández backing a faction opposed to Calderón.

    Meanwhile, there has also been a wave of attacks on political candidates across Mexico. On Thursday, assassins killed the mayoral candidate of Calderón's party in Valle Hermoso, a small city about 25 miles south of the Rio Grande at Brownsville and an area of intense drug-related bloodshed.

    A week earlier, assailants torched the home of a woman seeking the nomination of the leftist Democratic Revolutionary Party for mayor of nearby Nuevo Laredo.

    Fernández had been a key figure in the PAN's rise to power that ended 71 years of rule by the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, with the election of Vicente Fox as President in 2000. In the 1994 election, Fernández provided an unusually earthy, candid, cigar-chomping alternative to Mexico's usual menu of two-dimensional politicians. He broke completely with the stiff playbook of the nation's presidential candidates, showing up at soccer games at Azteca Stadium in blue jeans and cowboy boots, waving a big stogie. He'd point the cigar at the stadium's presidential box and then buy beers for fans. He scored big in front of more than 30 million viewing Mexico's first-ever presidential debate that year, skewering his Yale-educated opponent Ernesto Zedillo with lines like,

    "You're a good boy who got good grades, but your plan has left 40 million people in poverty."

  19. While those that just feign membership in our society, those that maintain alliance to foreign flags, like that Times Square Pakistani, seem to be dumber than rocks.

    Like most who remain mired in sectarianism.

  20. The Associated Press -

    NEW ORLEANS - BP said Monday it was siphoning more than one-fifth of the oil that has been spewing into the Gulf for almost a month, as worries escalated that the ooze may reach a major ocean current that could carry it through the Florida Keys and up ...

    No worries, the Florida Keys, they'll clean that ooze up, themselves.

    No need for the Maytag men.

  21. New York Times -
    Iran Offers to Ship Uranium, Complicating Sanctions Talks

    CAIRO - Iran announced an agreement on Monday to ship some of its nuclear fuel to Turkey in a deal that could offer a short-term solution to its ongoing nuclear standoff with the West, or prove to be a tactic aimed at derailing ...

    Pesky Iranians...
    ... and that Lulu from Brasilia, what a talker he must be!

  22. Turkey, staunch US ally
    NATO member in good standing!

    What more could Mrs Clinton ask for?!?!

  23. The tarpon and permit, in the Florida Keys, they'll thrive in that natural oil saturated environment.

    No worries, be happy!

  24. As any President would ask, when faced with a disaster at sea ...

    Where are the carriers?

    It is time for preemption!

    We must save our shores, from possible chemical attack by foreign flagged oil derricks.

  25. I can fore see the marketing campaign, for Key West, even now.

    Come catch a tar ball!

  26. Mission to free Chinese oil workers kidnapped in Yemen

    Yemeni forces have launched an operation to free two Chinese oil workers kidnapped on Sunday.
    The two Chinese men and two Yemeni colleagues were taken by tribesmen in the eastern Shabwa region.

    Yemen, the Arabian peninsula's poorest country, is currently battling a resurgent al-Qaeda and secessionists in the south.
    The Chinese oil men were kidnapped after a tribesman from the Laqmoosh clan was killed by police in a nearby checkpoint, reports said.
    The governor of the region Ali Hassan al-Ahmadi said the kidnappers should give themselves up.
    "They should release unconditionally their hostages and surrender," the defence ministry's information website said.

  27. Confirmed: Islamic Terrorist Financed Miss USA Contestant

    By Debbie Schlussel

    Last week, I told you about Rima Fakih, the Hezbollah-supporting Miss Michigan USA who will compete in tonight’s Miss USA pageant owned by Donald Trump on NBC. I told you about Fakih’s many relatives who are top Hezbollah terrorists and some who “martyred” themselves against Israel.

    But I also suspected that immigration/marriage fraud perpetrator, FBI award revokee, and “former” Islamic terrorist Imad Hamad (an open supporter of Hezbollah, HAMAS, etc.) also helped finance Fakih’s pageant candidacy. And I was right.

    Because I exposed Fakih for who she really is, her thuggish cadre of supporters and their Islamic friends at a major Detroit newspaper responded with a front-page, gushing puff-piece and page-long waterfall of drivel. In yesterday’s Detroit Freepistan, resident Islamic regurgitator, er . . . “reporter” Niraj Warikoo noted that Hamad financed Fakih’s bid to become Miss Michigan. He also engages in taqiyyah (Islamic deception of the infidels) by pushing a fraudulent Christian angle for Fakih.

    For previous pageants, Fakih sought — and received — support from Arab-American leaders in Dearborn, including Imad Hamad, head of the Michigan branch of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. His group helped once support Fakih financially. . . .

    Though Muslim, Fakih’s parents celebrate Christmas and have a painting of Jesus in their home.

    PUH-LEEZE. So what if they celebrate Jesus or Christmas? So do Alawite Muslims, including the Assad Family that runs Syria and persecutes and tortures Christians. The fact is, that Rima Fakih is a Shi’ite Muslim whose family are members of Hezbollah–the Islamic terrorist group that murdered over 300 mostly-Christian Marines and U.S. Embassy officials in Beirut. Hezbollah means the “Party of allah,” NOT the party of Jesus. Wake up to this PR fakery, people.

    And then there’s Hamad, as you may remember, in 2003, I stopped the FBI from giving a planned award to Hamad, when I wrote about him in a New York Post column. Because the FBI finally recognized what I wrote–that Hamad was identified in videotape engaging in activities as a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist, that Hamad was a student visa violator who committed marriage fraud to stay here, and that Hamad praised as “patriotic” the teaching of three-year-old Palestinian kids to become homicide bombers against Jews and Christians–Hamad’s award was revoked.

    Yup, what a great thing it’ll be for Donald Trump and his pageant if they pick the candidate who supports–and is supported by–several Islamic terrorists and terrorist groups, to be the next Miss USA. They’re idiots that they let her get this far. Trump could have expelled her the way he did with Miss California.

    But he just didn’t have the cojones here. Hey, Donald, you’re fired.

  28. This article is so bad on so many levels one is hard pressed to find a beginning.

    Sens. Lieberman and Brown offer the wrong solution on dealing with citizen terrorists

    "The Obama administration, for example, urged the Supreme Court this year to find that the material support law prohibits a lawyer from giving advice to a terrorist organization about how to peacefully advance its political agenda."

    ...nothing like a little bit of Hamas to insure freedom for all Americans...

  29. WiO,

    Do you recall a certain regular here pressing hard for Turkish involvement in guaranteeing the cease fire at the conclusion of the 2006 Lebanon War? Were they not at that time heralded as the best possible dudes and buds?

  30. Within two years of Edison's invention of the electric light bulb we had built 5,000 Electric Power Stations.

    We built 132,000 in Seven years.

    All I want to do is build 3,000 little "cookie cutter" cellulosic refineries.

  31. You have to love the Greeks. They want to sue the banks that helped them cover up their reckless spending. OOpa!

  32. Deuce said...
    You have to love the Greeks. They want to sue the banks that helped them cover up their reckless spending. OOpa!

    Sounds like America to me...

    All those folks getting loans for homes they had no business buying, now calling the loan companies crooked..

    If you TAKE a loan out, you are the signer of the loan..

    no one forced you to live above your means..

    let's sue!

  33. Talking about Greek disingenuity (which he does) the author posits, among other good ideas, that all government and publically funded data collection and interpretation be publically available for peer review.

    Wow! Peer review...This is starting to sound like genuine science. What a novel idea: science.

    Torturing statistics for government gelt

  34. Well, don't get too weepy for the banks.

    Bankers being paragons of virtuous intent and deed get in financial trouble because of their greed and stupidity and the government gives them money for free and tax advantages to get them back to fighting form.

    Bankers don't need to be taught a lesson, but Joe Effin Schmoski, let that dumb son of a bitch trip up financially and the bankers knee cap him with 30% interest rates, bad credit scores which reduce the ability to get a job, insurance, mortgages, car loans , etc.

    I notice this morning that since all the stockholders were wiped out by GM and GM was saved for the benefit of the unions, that they will get a new lease on life less than two years after the government gorged GM with cash.

    GM will issue new shares so they will be fat again on capital. Tough shit for Ford, who did it the right way to fight and survive and took no government money.

    Ford will now have to issue their own shares to compete with GM.

    Double tough shit for the Ford stockolders that will get diluted so that Ford can fight the saved GM.

    No morality play there. All thanks to your Masters and Rulers, who will continue the extraction of property from one and all regardless of their credit score.

    All is good in the garden.

  35. Debbie [Schlussel] has become Charles Johnson in drag.

    The woman has credibility problems.

  36. Al, welcome to our little sausage factory of political whiners, weenies, and wombats.

    Debbie may have "issues", but is she wrong on the Miss USA material. You did not say.

  37. allen said...
    Al, welcome to our little sausage factory of political whiners, weenies, and wombats.

    Allen, for the record, you being an inclusive kind of guy and having divided the entire site into three categories, where would you score yourself?

    I reserve the right to think about where I belong. Personal vanity favors me being considered a whiner, given that my choices have been so narrowed.

  38. Debbie may have "issues", but is she wrong on the Miss USA material. You did not say.

    Of course she aint WRONG...

    She's just too? JEWISH.

    No that's not it of course...

    It's she's too Zionist...


  39. Deuce,

    I would really like to help you out but must confess to being an anomaly. Variously, I have been a "cocksucker","motherfucker", "piece of shit", "racist", "supremist", "traitor", etc, etc, etc.

    Interestingly, you did not bother on those occasions to seek my counsel or interject yourself into the fray.

  40. Deuce,

    ...fairness - Wombat

    "...treating fences as minor inconveniences to be gone through or under, and leaving distinctive cubic faeces."

    "Wombats defend home territories centred on their burrows, and they react aggressively to intruders...."

    "The wombat's primary defence is its toughened rear hide with most of the posterior made of cartilage."

    "Wombats may allow an intruder to force its head over their back and then use its powerful legs to crush the skull of the predator against the roof of the tunnel..."

    "Humans who accidentally find themselves in an affray with a wombat may find it best to scale a tree until the animal calms and leaves..."

  41. Hey, Al, good to see a new poster here.


  42. Whoops,

    "Know Thyself"

    (The first version was in the original Greek)


  43. "“Price declines are already evident in Portugal, Spain and Ireland while underlying inflation in Germany is flirting near 11-year lows,” he said. “Contagion risks to the global banking sector are hardly trivial with European banks holding onto nearly $3-trillion (U.S.) of [Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain] government debt and U.S. banks have enough exposure that the bonds they hold represent 25 per cent of their Tier 1 capital base.” "

  44. "With bigotry and racism running rampant, it was inevitable that homophobia would raise its ugly head. Dale McAlpine, a practising (wait for it) Christian, was handing out leaflets in the town of Workington and chit-chatting with shoppers when he was arrested on a “public order” charge by police officer Sam Adams (no relation), a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community outreach officer. Mr. McAlpine said homosexuality is a sin. “I’m gay,” said Officer Adams. Well, it’s still a sin, said Mr. McAlpine. So Officer Adams arrested him for causing distress to Officer Adams.

    "In fairness, I should add that Mr. McAlpine was also arrested for causing distress to members of the public more generally, rather than just the aggrieved gay constable. No member of the public actually complained, but, as Officer Adams pointed out, Mr. McAlpine was talking “in a loud voice” that might be “overheard by others.” And we can’t have that, can we? So he was fingerprinted, DNA-sampled and tossed in the cells for seven hours..."

    Free Speech? What's That?

    It is a little ironic that Mark Steyn's latest assault on those who would diminish free speech rights centers on the UK. George Orwell would not be surprised.


  45. The sting of insult is truth.
    ___B. Franklin

    Gosh, what happened to AL? Is Monday laundry day for sock puppets?

  46. WiO,

    It looked for a while like the home team was going to get a new member.

    Being an "inclusive kind of guy", I welcomed him aboard and asked a simple question about the Jewess.

  47. Jewish land in Judea and Samaria is to be confiscated for the construction of a road that will connect between the Arab city of Ramallah with the new Arab settlement of Rovai, to be built near the Jewish town of Ateret in the Binyamin region

  48. "Debbie may have "issues", but is she wrong on the Miss USA material."

    The better question is "Does anyone even give a shit about the Miss USA issue?"

    Geezopete. This is the Miss USA contest not even the Miss America contest we're talking about. And the Miss America contest has even lost its appeal. Why would anyone bother to watch this relic anymore or give a shit about who won it or how?

    It's a TV show. And not a good one.

    Donald Trump for heavens sake.


  49. There's a difference between the Miss USA "Issue" and the Miss USA Pageant. You conflate the two and say they're nothing to give a second thought. Why?

  50. During two days of talks about human rights with China last week, the US raised examples of problems on its own soil and cited Arizona's controversial new immigration law as an example of "racial discrimination."

    “We brought it up early and often. It was mentioned in the first session and as a troubling trend in our society, and an indication that we have to deal with issues of discrimination or potential discrimination. And these are issues very much being debated in our own society,” Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy Human Rights and Labor Michael Posner, who led the US delegation to the talks, told reporters on Friday.

    These people are so out of touch with mainstream America that it's frightening.

  51. This administration should not be allowed within a hundred miles of the White House. Can we get a restraining order?

  52. First Holder, now Napolitano
    Napolitano Admits She Hasn't Read Arizona Law But Says She Wouldn't Sign It


  53. I find it hard to believe any Islamist is going fund this girl.

    I hope the Schussel stories aren't true because this girl could recruit more Muslim youth than any long beard Imam.

  54. But the religious reaction proved short lived, as Timothy the Weasel's arrogant behaviour angered so many other bishops--had Egyptians learned nothing since 449? After some wavering, Constantinople's patriarch, Acacius, now became a strong voice for Chalcedonian orthodoxy. Preparing to confront the emperor, he gathered the most powerful ammunition he could find, in the form of the renowned spiritual athlete, Daniel the Stylite (heh). As the events of 431 had shown, nothing intimidated a pious emperor more than a bona fide saint and miracle worker. Acacius induced Daniel to leave the pillar on which he had lived these many years, entering the world only to prophesy, heal, and exorcise, and persuaded him to oppse the hew encyclical. Daniel's appearance before Basiliscus constituted a kind of religious terrorism that the emperor absolutley had to heed. Basiliscus issued a fulsome apology, while the Constantinople mob rejoiced, shouting "Burn alive the enemies of orthodoxy1"......Zeno seized power once again in 476, killing his rival. He kept his promise not to shed blood of Basilicus or his family, but that did not prevent him from starving them to death. from The Jesus Wars And the women, you wouldn't believe the conspiring women, some of whom invited the barbarians in heh

  55. They were forced to hide in the countryside, to take refuge in caves, always in danger of being hunted down. Other bishops were even more savage, acting in ways that foreshadowed the pogroms and heresy hunts of the High Middle Ages. In the great eastern City of Amida, the new bishop, Abraham, burned and crucified those who defied him, using his soldiers to force communion bread into the mouths of the reluctant. One priest who resisted even these efforts was remembered ever after under the heroic name of Cyrus the Spitter--although Cyrus himself was burned alive shortly afterward. -----Well, they weaked christiandom so, arguing about the nature of Jesus, that the muzzies got a leg up.

  56. "There's a difference between the Miss USA "Issue" and the Miss USA Pageant. You conflate the two and say they're nothing to give a second thought. Why?"

    Please, Whit, explain to me the "USA Issue."

    That some guy accused of being a Hezbollah supporter gave financial aid to the girl to support her candidacy for Miss USA?

    What exactly does that mean?

    Did he pay her entry fee? Buy her dinners at La Shish? Lip gloss?
    Eye liner?

    Or is it that the girl's parents have a painting of Jesus in their house so ipso facto they must be terrorists.

    Donald Trump and the USA Pageant is equivalent to Donald Trump and his Monday night gigs on the WWE.
    No one gives a shit.

    And no one would have even known that Schlussel was Jewish except that WiO and Allen brought it up with WiO accusing the bar of discounting her story merely because she was Jewish.

    If the blacks or the gays or La Raza did the same thing for one of their own you'd have been all over their ass. Because it fits with your worldview it's perfectly all right.

    Give me a break.


  57. Hey, Bob.

    Did you get that post I left you on the last stream?

    It's the last post there.

    Thought it might be of interest.


  58. If the blacks or the gays or La Raza did the same thing for one of their own you'd have been all over their ass. Because it fits with your worldview it's perfectly all right.

    I don't know what you're talking about. It sounds to me like you just want to rant.

  59. I don't need to explain the "issue". It was outlined earlier in the thread. You dismissed it out of hand. I was simply asking why?

  60. "I don't know what you're talking about..."

    That doesn't surprise me Whit.


  61. "I don't need to explain the "issue". It was outlined earlier in the thread. You dismissed it out of hand. I was simply asking why?"

    Because to me there is no issue.

    That's why I asked you to explain it to me.

    I'm still waiting.

    I mean I see an article about relatives being in Hezbollah. I see that her parents are obviously dangerous becuase they celebrate Christmas. I see that she got support (whatever that means) from some guy accused of actually marrying someone to get US citizenship. Gee, I've never heard of that happening before.

    And we can believe that it's all true or maybe partially true. Although given the content of article as posted all we have is Ms. Schlussel saying it's true. But let's assume it is true.

    How does this affect the contestant? Is she some kind of Manchurian Candidate worming her way into the shadowy world of the super-model? Is she liable to pick up state secrets at those charity luncheons? Do we strip her of her title because she was born into a family of low lifes?

    It's a friggen beauty contest for gosh sakes.

    If I'm missing something here, again I ask you to explain it to me.

    Throw me a bone.



  62. So, are you saying that because I am interested in the story of possible terrorist funding I'm an asshole or merely a dumbshit?

    Or are you just having a bad day?

  63. I see that her parents are obviously dangerous becuase they celebrate Christmas.

    I missed that part.

  64. "...I am interested in the story of possible terrorist funding..."

    You've opened my eyes.

    When the story is printed of her blowing up an aids benefit with explosives closeted in her bra I will not only admit my mistake but will sincerely apologize.


  65. And now you have me thinking. What is a muslim terrorist organization doing helping a girl in a beauty contest?

    It does look pretty suspicious.


  66. Is it a terrorist plot?

    Or is this just one of those conspiracy theories that Allen disdains? You know. Like the U.S.S. Liberty.

    Damn, I was willing to shrug this off but now you got me guessing Whit.

    I'll be worrying about this one for a while.


  67. There was some rich irony at the White House today -- President Obama signed the Press Freedom Act, and then promptly refused to take any questions.

    The new law expands the State Department's annual human rights reports to include a description of press freedoms in each country. It seemed a good opportunity to showcase press freedom in this country.

    Recall that last Friday the president refused to take any questions after delivering his angry statement on the oil spill in the Rose Garden. And he has not held a prime-time White House news conference in many months, despite much pleading from pundits and members of the media.

    So after he signed the bill, and as the press "wranglers" began aggressively herding us out of the room, I asked if he still has confidence in BP. He ignored the question so I tried this: "In the interest of press freedom, would you take a couple questions on BP?"

    That did elicit a smile, and he told me I was free to ask questions. Someone else shouted, "Will you answer them?"

    He said he's not holding a press conference today as we were escorted out the door.

  68. Voyager 1 is 10.5 billion miles from Earth and in about five years is expected to pass through the heliosphere, a bubble the sun creates around the solar system, and enter interstellar space.

    Voyager 2 will follow after that.


    Some believe that aliens have hijacked the craft, and are attempting to communicate. One German scientist says it appears as if someone re-programmed the Voyager's computer system.

    Unexplained Transmissions

  69. It looks like Nbc-Gate is hitting top volume. I’ve witnessed some very desperate blogging propaganda trying to stop the bleeding as the nation finally wakes up to the fact that President Obama was a British citizen at the time of his birth. Having been born with dual nationality, he was born with a recognized allegiance to a foreign nation. I have explained previously in great detail why this disqualifies him from being President.

    That report was closely followed by a historical discovery of Sharon Rondeau at the Post & Email which highlighted the legal opinion of lifelong Democrat Breckenridge Long - an attorney and graduate of Washington University Law School who later served as Secretary of State as well as U.S. ambassador to Italy under FDR – who, in an article written for the Chicago Legal News, argued that a “native born citizen” of the US who is also born to a British father is not a “natural born citizen” by stating – in 1916 – about Presidential candidate Charles Evans Hughes:

    “It is not disputed that Mr. Hughes is not a citizen of the United States, but if he had the right to elect, he must have had something to choose between. He was native born because he was born in this country, and he is now a native born citizen because he is now a citizen of this country; but, had he been a “natural born” citizen, he would not have had the right to choose between this country and England; he would have had nothing to choose between; he would have owed his sole allegiance to the government of the United States, and there would have been no possible question, whether he found himself in the United States or in any other country in the world, that he would be called upon to show allegiance to any Government but that of the United States.”

    There you have a lifelong Democrat politician – who served at a high level of Government service – making the argument that President Obama would not be eligible to the office of President despite his place of birth. Is the former Democrat Secretary of State now to be retroactively attacked as a wing nut birther?

    The historical dam is breaking as more and more evidence surfaces proving Obama is not eligible. A reader of this blog who has asked to remain anonymous recently provided further historical proof that Obama is not eligible to be president. The New Englander And Yale Law Review, Volume 3 (1845) states:

    The expression ‘citizen of the United States occurs in the clauses prescribing qualifications for Representatives, for Senators, and for President. In the latter, the term ‘natural born citizen’ is used and excludes all persons owing allegiance by birth to foreign states.

    That is serious on point historical research. At the time of his birth, Obama owed allegiance to Great Britain. That is not disputed, it is admitted by the President himself. And this admission is the true problem Obama faces should this issue ever make its way to the Supreme Court. Obama owed allegiance to great Britain when he was born. Leo Donofrio

  70. No record, allen, but I'm sure proud you counted, and most likely read each post.

    More than I can say for how I handle yours, or misdirections.

    See, the point was to expose wi"o" for the hater that he is, and I did, again.

    Going to sectarianism, right off the bat. Dumber than rocks, you two are.

    Jakes my day, that you two are so dependably antisemitic..

  71. As for Turkey, it is a REAL ally of the United States. A NATO member.

    Its' soldiers have stood shoulder to shoulder, with US troops, and died with them. More so than can be said of Israelis.

    The Israelis that have killed more US sailors than Iranians ever have, let alone the modern Turks.

    So, when the United States needs a nation to monitor the Iranian nuclear fuel situation, who better than the Turks, our brothers in blood.

    Got to use our NATO allies to keep the rouge States of the Middle East, Israel and Iran, in line. No worries, there.

    Because, the United States is allied, not at war, with Islam.

    Learn it, Live it, Love it!

  72. Rouge nuclear powers, the greatest threat to US security, at home and abroad.

    Nuclear weapons in the hands of those that routinely violate the Geneva Accords, a danger to world peace, everywhere.

  73. There is an old saying, one that is telling with regards the US relationship, with Israel. A saying that we should all take to heart.

    "Keep your friends close,
    Your enemies closer"

    The US is closer to no other nation, than Israel.

    The $42 billion USD debtor.

  74. A subsidy, to a government that disdain US interests, of $7,000 per resident.

    Keepin' 'em in our hip pocket.

  75. No one else, in the entire whirled, gets more, from US.

    No one else deserves it less.

  76. HONG KONG (MarketWatch) -- China increased its holdings of US Treasurys in March, marking the first time in six months it has raised its exposure to US government debt.

  77. Tehran nuclear declaration hailed as 'epic victory for Iran'

    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has claimed that mediation efforts by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva would fail. Other US allies such as France and Germany have alleged time and again that Iran is not participating in the international arena in good faith. However, the joint nuclear declaration by Iran, Turkey and Brazil, reached on the sidelines of the G-15 summit in Tehran on Monday, for the Islamic Republic to ship its low-enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for higher-enriched fuel within a specified time frame has been widely hailed as a victory for diplomacy. Iran, through its effective diplomatic efforts, has proved mainly Western skeptics wrong once again. Based on the declaration issued by the three countries, Iran would ship 1,200 kilograms of its low-enriched uranium (LEU) for 120 kilograms of higher-enriched nuclear fuel for Tehran's medical reactor. The exchange would take place in Turkey under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

    No war, not this week.
    Iran pulls another rabbit.

    The Chinese will wait and watch, they'll not pull the sanctions trigger, now.

  78. As to global reactions to the Tehran nuclear declaration, Israel insisted that Turkey and Brazil were manipulated by Iran, while the European Union called the move a step in the right direction, though Britain has denounced it. Russia welcomed the joint effort by Tehran, Brasilia and Ankara, as the US stressed that it must first be conveyed to the IAEA before it can be considered. Meanwhile, the UN has described the development as encouraging.

    From the Iranian perspective, PressTV

    No mention of Charlie, but Ivan welcomes the effort.
    Uncle Sam is waiting on process.

  79. While scientists are split over the chances of it happening, tar balls have already been found, in the Keys.

    Perhaps they are not from the Deepwater Horizon, but we will know, soon enough if they are.

    As BP engineers worked to contain and eventually plug the deep sea oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, scientists tracking the spread of oil disagreed on whether it had entered a powerful ocean current that could carry the crude as far east as Florida and potentially damage sensitive reefs in the Keys.

    On Monday night, the Coast Guard reported that 20 tar balls were found along the shore at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park in Key West. Samples of the tar balls -- found by park rangers and ranging in size from three to eight inches in diameter -- will be sent to a laboratory for analysis, according to the Coast Guard.

    In Washington, a top Interior official charged with overseeing oil and gas drilling resigned, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano defended the administration's handling of the emergency at the same time she said it was largely dependent on BP to respond to the crisis.

    Chris Oynes, who had overseen oil and gas leasing in the Gulf of Mexico for 12 years before being promoted to Mineral Management Services associate director for offshore energy and minerals management, sent a letter of resignation effective May 31. Oynes has come under fire for being too close to the industry officials he regulated.

    Meanwhile, BP announced it was awarding tourism grants to the governors of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana to help promote tourism over the coming months

    Read more:

  80. Press TV: Mohammad Marandi, the US and its allies may say there is still the issue of Iran enriching uranium, since the declaration does not limit Iran's enrichment activities. What would you say to that?

    Mohammad Marandi: I would say that in fact this is one the major achievements of the text. Turkey and Brazil have effectively said that Iran has every right to continue with its nuclear program and not only that they said the text also speaks of cooperation in the field of the nuclear energy. So these two countries are effectively saying what Iran is saying.
    That is significant because Turkey of course is a member of NATO; it has been an ally of the United States in the past. It is growing more and more independent as time goes by. Brazil is a major player in Latin America and in global politics and becoming more important by the day. So these are countries that are effectively just as important if not more important than countries like France and England.

  81. Are those Syrian SCUDS still in Lebanon?

    Or did the saber rattle scare them away?

    Time does go by, does it not.

  82. Obama's aunt is granted asylum
    Boston Globe -

  83. TOKYO (Reuters) - The euro dipped on Tuesday after bouncing from four-year lows, weighed down by persistent worries about the euro area's fiscal health that also kept investors in Asia on edge

  84. BBC News - ‎

    Oil from the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico appears to have reached the Louisiana shoreline. US President Barack Obama has announced that he will set up a commission to investigate the disaster.